Gleaned from

President Barack Obama came out in favor of same sex marriage last week, the first President of the United States to do so. As expected, liberals in the media are praising the President’s stand as, “courageous” and “aligning himself with the entire world in standing for civil rights.”

An increasing number of liberal church leaders are also endorsing the gay life style; even ordaining homosexual ministers and performing gay marriages. Liberal churches rationalize their stance by pointing out that while the Old Testament condemns same-sex relationships, Jesus said nothing about it, so it must be okay.

Granted, there is no recorded statement from Jesus on the subject of homosexuality. However, we have no direct quote from Jesus about slavery or rape either. So, obviously, the absence of a statement from Jesus doesn’t qualify as an endorsement.

Furthermore, it isn’t just the recorded words of Jesus that followers of Christ consider to be God’s Word. The entire New Testament is regarded as God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16) and the standard of absolute truth. Right and wrong are not determined for us by personal emotion, majority opinion, current trends, or influential experts, but the Bible. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth.”

The New Testament book of Romans states: “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” (Romans 1:26-27)

Clearly, both the Old and New Testaments forbid same sex relationships. Although each individual has innate strengths and weaknesses and we are vulnerable to different temptations, none of us is given a license to yield to our base, carnal desires. We’re told to, “deny self” and, “abstain from the evil desires that war against your soul.” To endorse gay marriage is to disregard the plain teaching of Scripture.

The question is not whether the Bible condones same sex marriage – it clearly does not. The question is whether Christian leaders will be courageous enough to take a Biblical stand and accept the inevitable persecution that will follow or will we just say what itching ears want to hear? Will we stand for God’s truth or embrace the spirit of the age?

Folks, this is not a political issue. It’s a spiritual issue that goes to the very core of our belief system. God ordained marriage in the Garden of Eden as sacred. If believers don’t have the courage to stand up for marriage then we are not worthy to be called followers of Christ.

Kudos to the Roman Catholic Church. The pope and many local bishops are speaking out fearlessly on this issue. It’s time for evangelical leaders to stand up and be counted as well. I’ve observed that many Bible-believing preachers are weary of the battle and are growing strangely silent on the subject. They’re apprehensive of being accused of being homophobic and lacking compassion. Many are dodging the issue in hopes their church will not be branded with a negative image in the community.

Martin Luther once said, ‘If I be valiant all along the battle line except at the point where Satan presses his attack, I am not valiant for Christ.” Satan is directly attacking the sanctity of life, the sacredness of marriage and religious liberties. This is no time for us to grow weary in doing good. Now more than ever we need Christian leaders to be strong and courageous. Admittedly, you’re going to be labeled homophobic and intolerant. The bullies in the gay and lesbian community will hurl insults at your church, accuse you of hate speech and out of step with where the culture is heading.

I beg you to remember that Jesus said, “If you’re ashamed of me AND MY WORDS then I will be ashamed of you when you stand before my Father who is in heaven.” And “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

Bob Russell lives in Louisville, KY and is the retired  minister  at Southeast Christian Church